Happy New Year! I love the start of a new year! The new year seems like a blank canvas on which I can create a whole new me. So what's your new year going to look like? More exercise, less screen time, maybe getting organized? If it's to get organized, you're in good company. It's one of the top 5 resolutions people make every year.
January is “Get Organized Month” because it’s a resolution that so many people make. Here are 3 simple tips to help you start towards your goal.
1. Keep your expectations realistic - If you have 4 children, a spouse, a job, a dog and 10 other hats that you wear, is it realistic to think your house will look magazine ready every day? Determine what “organized” means to you and go for that level of organization. There’s a wide spectrum of what organized means and it’s different for everyone. Many people can live with things lying around the house and it may appear to be disorganized to you. But if they can find what they need when they need it, that’s being organized. Know what your organizing style is and work with it, not against it.
Also, be realistic about how long it will take. Getting organized takes time. Usually more time than you think it will. It can be helpful to have someone work with you to keep you focused.
2. Resist the urge to buy products - Sadly, organizing products won’t get you organized, regardless of what the product claims. Before I figured out how to organize effectively, I would hit the Container Store hard, buying bins and boxes for everything. Then I would come home and start to organize, but I was just rearranging my clutter. After a good purging session I would find that those same bins and containers didn’t meet the needs of what was left. My husband joked that I needed containers for my containers. You have to do the hard work of deciding what to keep and what to purge first.
3. Be open to change - Organizing systems can start out great, but falter after time. Revaluate the process you created. Does it have too many steps to maintain? Do the other people in your home know your system? It can be helpful to talk through your process with someone who can see it from a different viewpoint.
If your resolution is to get organized, I’m here to help. Call 201-674-1474 to schedule a session. Life is easier and less stressful when you are organized.
All the best for a fantastic 2016!
Organizing with ADHD Brain
ADHD and organizing don't play well together. They are constantly battling with each other. If you or someone you love has ADHD, please know that it's not easy to be organized with that brain structure. But it IS possible. Knowledge is power and learning how to work with an ADHD brain is key to getting organized and staying that way. Work with your brain, not against it!
After getting my ADHD diagnosis at age 40, I dove into books to learn more about it and how it affected the way I lived. My favorite organizing book is ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kohlberg. There are so many useful and truly "ADD-Friendly" organization tips in her book. An excellent resource for understanding Adult ADHD is More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD by Ari Tuckman, PsyD. Humorous and easy to read, you will get a real education on how an adult ADHD brain works.
So how can you become more organized without reading lots of books? Start with a small change and make that change stick before diving into all the tips. Here are three of my favorite tricks to improve your everyday organization or productivity...
1. Post-its. When you need to stay focused, have a pad of post-its next to you. Anytime a thought (unrelated to what you should be doing) pops in your head, jot it down on a post-it. You have now relieved your brain of having to try to remember that other thought and you can get back to work.
2. Noisli is a website which creates background noise when you are working on the computer (they also have an app for your smart phone). Helps improve focus and productivity. It's free to try, so there's nothing to lose. I'm listening to it as I type this newsletter!
3. Give yourself a break - Are you really going to be able to do all 15 items on your to-do list today? Or will you feel overwhelmed and, most likely, not accomplish any of them? Know yourself and give yourself approval to only put 3 items on that daily to-do list. Add the other items to a "maybe do" list. If you get around to some of them, great! But don't heckle yourself for not doing them.
Pick 1 of these 3 tricks and try it out. Not just once, but keep trying it until you start to see success...which you will!